Wednesday, 19 February

Russian militants went on the offensive: Ukraine’s Armed Forced have suffered losses
On Tuesday, February 18, Russian militants went on the offensive, attacking Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the Donbas and attempting to break the front line.

The United Kingdom has made a scandalous decision on sanctions against Russia
The United Kingdom is going to lift sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia. With this, the UK is going to remove restrictions on imports of foil, pipes, and ferrosilicon from the Russian Federation.

President of Turkey to visit Ukraine: details
During his visit on Monday, February 3, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will discuss business relations between Turkey and Ukraine as part of the High-Level Strategic Council between the two countries.

​The US announced new Crimea-related sanctions against Russia
The US Treasury Department announced new Crimea-related sanctions against Russia. Eight individuals were added to the sanctions list, seven of whom are acting as Moscow-supported "government" officials in the Crimean Peninsula.

Experts made an important statement on the future of anti-Russian sanctions
Sanctions should remain a key instrument of pressure on Russia to reestablish Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, as stated by Ukrainian and Italian foreign policy experts during a round-table discussion organized by the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) together with Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and supported by the International Renaissance Foundation.

EU agreed to expand sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea
The ambassadors of the European Union have agreed to expand sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea, as reported by European news agencies with reference to sources in the EU.

Zelensky's team named potential timings for the next prisoner exchange
According to the information revealed after Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin's phone call on December 31, a new prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia may occur later this winter.

Russia announced an important gas contract with Ukraine
Russia's Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, said that Russia and Ukraine had agreed that mutual claims would be nullified on January 1 and property arrests would be removed according to decisions on court suits, as was reported by RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia announced a potential date for prisoner exhange
The prisoner exchange between Ukraine and pro-Russian militants of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics is scheduled for December 29.

Mike Pompeo reiterated to Russia's Sergei Lavrov that Crimea is a part of Ukraine
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the latter's visit to Washington on December 10.

US Congress agreed on the 2020 military aid to Ukraine
After months of negotiations, US Congress agreed on a compromise version of the 2020 defense budget, which provides for $300 billion in military aid for Ukraine.

​Ukraine explains how to solve gas dispute with Russia
Ukraine and Russia could implement "mutual offset" of some of their financial claims to each other, which are considered in national and international courts/arbitrages, until the New Year's Eve, and thus sign gas agreements on the transit and supply of Russian gas to Ukraine after January 1, 2020.

​Dangerous "hint": Russia threatened Ukraine with loss of several regions
Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that Ukraine faces a threat of "separation of several regions".

ISIS leader al-Baghdadi urges supporters to continue attacks
On Monday, the Islamic State released an audio recording in which purportedly the militant group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi prompts the extremists to double their efforts, continue attacks and free terrorists from prisons.

Russia, Turkey and Iran hold a summit on the Syrian crisis: details
The President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin met in Ankara, Turkey, to decide the fate of Idlib – the last Syrian province held by anti-government rebels.

The Taliban visits Russia after Donald Trump calls the negotiations "dead"
Russian president Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov holds talks with the Taliban members in Moscow.

Russian forces raid offices and homes of the opposition
Russian opposition from the Anti-Corruption Foundation is subjected to brutal persecution by the Kremlin after an attempt to reduce the results of pro-government forces in local elections.

Netanyahu visited Russia after Moscow condemned his annexation plan: details
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew out to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi on Thursday.

The curious case of Oleg Smolenkov: new details on the alleged US spy
On September 9, citing “multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge", CNN reported on the US spy who was evacuated from Kremlin several years ago.

Five Russians are sentenced to prison for holding political protests
Russian courts sentence individuals for fulfilling their right to have an independent opposition in the Moscow city parliament (Mosgorduma), which will hold its elections on September 8.